In Memoriam: Lillian Hodgson
Rhododendron lovers in ARS District 1 and members of Vancouver Rhododendron Society lost one of our pioneers with the passing in mid July 2003 of Lillian (Lill) Hodgson (1911-2003). Lill was a charter member of the Vancouver Chapter of the ARS. There were no other ARS chapters in British Columbia for many years after 1955 so Lill knew everybody connected with rhodos in the province. Lill served as chapter secretary, was a District Director and founded, typed, edited and mailed out the chapter's one-page, both sides, Gestetner-produced newsletter for some ten years. Lill had a talent for flower and nature photography and as an artist and water colourist with her knowledge of the genus particularly the English hybrids equipped her to excel as a show judge. Lill's service to the chapter and her dedication to the genus earned her the Society's Bronze Medal.
Lill wrote for the ARS Journal and previously for the Quarterly Bulletin. Her photograph of her garden, ablaze with rhododendrons in the foreground with Vancouver's outer harbour, West Vancouver's forested slopes and shoreline with the snow capped Sechelt's Tantalus Range behind made it onto the spring 1979 Quarterly Bulletin. It announced the ARS Annual Convention at the Bayshore for which Lill served as registrar. Lillian Hodgson was our second recipient of the ARS Bronze Medal.
There is a hybrid named for her created by Dr. Bob Rhodes, then of Maple Ridge, 'Solent Queen' X 'Old Copper'. I've never asked her whether she likes it or not; however, I do - R. 'Lillian Hodgson', sweet and pink on the outside, fire inside, with a heritage to fit the grande dame of the VRS.